Aaron Judge

Akshita Patel

REPORTS: Yankees Captain Aaron Judge Will Play At Center During Spring Training

New York Yankees have been summoned to report for spring training on February 14, Valentine’s Day. Pitchers and catchers will travel to the club’s training facility in Tampa, followed by the rest of the roster. Regardless, a major group of players reported early and remain in Tampa as of the time of this writing.

Having said that, the focus this season will remain on the Yankees dynamic hitting lineup of Aaron Judge and Juan Soto. The latter arrived in the Bronx via trade this off-season. And is expected to unleash fireworks with Judge. However, Soto’s addition could have a ripple effect on the captain’s ideal outfield position. Apparently, the change could be induced as early as spring training.

   

Aaron Judge Likely To Play Center-Field In Spring Training!

Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge leaps and robs Teoscar Hernández’s home run. Twitter NYY

Ever since Juan Soto joined the New York Yankees, talks of Aaron Judge’s potential change in outfield position have gained momentum. Judge and Soto are both traditional right-fielders. However, the Yankee captain is relatively more flexible. He spent a major half of the 2022 season in center field until Harrison Bader joined the team during the trade deadline. Moreover, Aaron Boone, the skipper, confirmed he plans on placing Judge in center at least until Jasson Dominguez recovers from Tommy John surgery. Not only that, Boone added that Judge is on board with the change of plans in the outfield lineup. Meanwhile, recent reports suggest that Judge could start playing in center field as early as spring training.

The spring training commences this month and will go on until the end of March. Having said that, concerns over Aaron Judge’s alleged move to center field stems from the slugger’s injury concerns. He endured a gruesome toe injury, which led to a significant absence in the second half of the 2023 season. Notably, the center field is a demanding position, with outfielders having to cover wider ground. Thus, playing regularly in the center could result in wear and tear and the captain’s 6-foot-7 tall physique. Regardless, nobody has objected to the move so far. Aaron Judge and the entire Yankee leadership are comfortable with the short-term change of plans. Regardless, Dominguez will return in the second of the year. Then perhaps Judge could move to left field since Juan Soto is unlikely to give up his right field spot.

Yankees Skipper Reflects On Judge’s Workload Management Plan For 2024 Season

Yankees
Credit: Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Meanwhile, in a recent public appearance, Yankees skipper Aaron Boone revealed how he plans to manage Aaron Judge’s workload in the 2024 season. Since Judge will be moving to center field, his health becomes a top priority for the Yankee management. However, Boone is least concerned at the moment.

Boone explicitly said that he does not plan on resting Aaron Judge till he is 100% fit. Without any underlying injury concerns, the skipper does not see any reason why Judge should warm the bench. Boone firmly believes the 2024 season is their best shot at the World Series championship with Juan Soto’s arrival. Thus, stretching Aaron Judge and Juan Soto will be the team’s active game plan this year.

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